It’s 92° in Austin, but it’s still technically Fall, so we’re swapping shandys for ciders and white for red. The next step is an appropriately autumnal snack. Happy hour at home doesn’t mean you’re stuck with leftover takeout (at least, not every night), especially when there are so many dining-out-quality apps you can easily make in your own kitchen.
October is upon us, and so begins a month filled with ghostly frights and hair raising chills. What better liquor to pay homage to in our new series than Absinthe? During the next few weeks while we celebrate witches and vampires, let’s also summon the Green Fairy!
This week’s recipe is one of the simplest Absinthe cocktails - no ritual required. Once again, New Orleans takes credit for this concoction and boasts patronage the likes of Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain for this drink. The Old Absinthe House, the birthplace of this particular potion, has their own version, which adds extra anisette. The Drink Chicks, however, prefer the following variation of the Absinthe Frappe.
Although the last classic in our New Orleans series has origins that can be claimed by a London bartender from across the pond, the Crescent City embraced it’s own version of the Pimm’s Cup. Undeniably unique, Pimm’s No. 1 is a reddish, gin-based liquor made with a secret blend of herbs and spices lending itself to mellow bitter, floral and citrus notes. Mr. Impastato, owner of the landmark Napoleon House, first served the libation to his patrons in the 1950‘s. Today the Napoleon House remains the best known in NOLA for serving up this cooling summer intoxicant. Simplistic, light and refreshing, it’s perfect for sipping poolside on a hot Austin afternoon. Here’s their classic recipe:
The origins of the French 75 are fuzzy at best. Is it named after the World War I French axillary and appearing first in Savoy Cocktails in the 1930’s? Or perhaps it was Dickens’s drink of choice in the late 1800‘s, at that time referred to as a Tom Gin Champagne cup? Either way it is potent and simple, and a Drink Chicks favorite! This simplistic drink, comprised of mere 4 ingredients, is decidedly deceiving because it packs a mean punch. The perfect classy drink when you don't want to put too much effort into cocktail service.
Perhaps no other libation is as synonymous with New Orleans as the Sazerac, it’s official drink, and toted as one of the first cocktails ever. The most essential component, save for the high quality American Rye (originally French Brandy), is Peychaud Bitters. Antoine Peychaud, a local apothecary, created the sweeter, more floral bitters some time around the1830’s and it’s essential to a properly prepared Sazerac. According to my bartender at Mr. B’s, this is the correct Sazerac ritual.
This boozy red nectar is best enjoyed in full sun in a French Quarter courtyard, but your Austin patio is just as ideal. Another NOLA classic, Pat O'Brien created this fruity mixture to make rum more appealing to the masses during the bourbon shortage and served it up in festive glasses shaped like hurricane lamps. If you're looking for a quick fix to your sugary alcohol craving then use the pre-made mix, but it doesn't compare to homemade. The variations are countless, but we've provided two versions. The first being the simplest and alleged original recipe of the drink, while the later is the standard served up today.
In honor of the Drink Chicks recent visit to New Orleans, September’s Tuesday Drink Recipes will feature classic Big Easy cocktails beginning with the iconic Ramos Gin Fizz. This recipe comes straight from the Museum of the American Cocktail and supposedly from the back of an old bartender’s business card at the Roosevelt.